MetaMask Guide: How to set up an account? PLUS tips and hacks for advanced users

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Metamask
Metamask

MetaMask is one of the most popular means of storing your Ethereum (ETH) and other ERC-20 tokens. The browser extension is significant for people that regularly make use of ETH and its tokens as it is secure and allows users to have quick access to their funds.

Create a new wallet

Opening and setting up an account with MetaMask is very simple. First, download the MetaMask web browser extension. MetaMask has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Brave browsers.

Click the button for your web browser and add the MetaMask extension for your browser. Once you get to the extension store on these browsers, search for MetaMask and click on “Add to” browser.

Once it has been installed, an icon the shape of a fox will appear on the top right-hand corner of your browser .

The next step is to click “Get started” on the webpage and select the option to create a new wallet.

Select the option to set up a new wallet
Select the option to set up a new wallet

Afterwards, you will be asked to create a password for your account. It is best to create strong passwords that other people can’t easily guess such as your birthday. Thus, a secure password should contain numbers and letters arranged uniquely.

You will then be provided with a unique 12-word backup phrase for backing up your wallet. Some people would save the backup phrase on their computer notepad and save it on their laptops or hard drives. This is not advisable as hackers could access the recovery key if they attack your computer. Thus, to keep your funds safe, write it down on a piece of paper instead and save the document in a place where you can’t lose it.

Next, you will be asked to confirm your secret backup phrase. Once you do that, your account is set and ready to use.

How to deposit cryptocurrencies

Click on the MetaMask browser extension i.e. the fox logo on your browser, then click on the “Deposit” button on the pop up window. NOTE: you can also have a better view of your account by clicking “…” on the pop up window and “Expand view”.

The "Expand view" option expands the display to fill your entire browser window for easier viewing.
The “Expand view” option expands the display to fill your entire browser window for easier viewing.

Several options would pop up. For example, you can directly deposit ETH or from your Shapeshift account. Also, you can buy the ETH directly from third-party sellers such as CoinSwitch and Wyre.

For this tutorial, I will teach you how to directly deposit ETH from your other accounts. So click “View Account” next to the option “Directly Deposit Ether” to display your deposit address. You can tell this is an ETH address since the address starts with “0x”.

Your deposit address will then show up.
Your deposit address will then show up.

You can directly deposit ETH from another wallet to your MetaMask wallet by either: (i) scanning the QR code; or (ii) copying the “0x” address onto the “send” address on the wallet you are sending ETH from.

You can also check if you’ve received the ETH and your balance by clicking the fox logo on your web browser.

Click on the fox logo on your web browser to show your account balance
Click on the fox logo on your web browser to show your account balance

How to send cryptocurrencies

Once you have ETH in your MetaMask account, you can send it to other wallets, exchanges, or use it to make purchases.

To send ETH, click on the fox logo on your web browser and click “Send” on the pop-up window. Then fill in the recipient address, type of asset (e.g. ETH), amount and transaction fee.

Fill in the details and click "Send", then "Confirm"
Fill in the details and click “Send”, then “Confirm”

You will then see a little notification saying “Confirmed Transaction” on your web browser once the funds have been sent.

How to use MyEtherWallet with MetaMask?

First, go onto the MyEtherWallet webpage. Be careful not to misspell the name as there are fake MyEtherWallet websites out there. On the webpage click: “Access my wallet” and “MetaMask”. On the pop up window “Access by MetaMask”, click “Access my wallet”.

Another pop up window “MetaMask Notification” will show up. Sometimes this does not happen. If so, simply close your browser and try again. On the second pop up window “MetaMask Notification”, click “Connect” to collect MyEtherWallet with your MetaMask account.

Click "Connect" on the second pop up window.
Click “Connect” on the second pop up window.

Your MetaMask is Locked: How to fix it?

A common bug that people encounter is when they are interacting with a Dapp and sometimes they see the messages “Your MetaMask is locked” and “Simply open MetaMask and follow the instructions to unlock it”. If this happens, click on the fox logo on your browser, and the round circle on the pop up window.

Then click on “Settings”, then “Security and Privacy” and DISABLE “Privacy Mode” using the slider bar.

Disable privacy mode
Disable privacy mode

Once you’ve disabled privacy mode, your application or Dapp should function.

Save gas fees on MetaMask

Interacting with smart contracts can be expensive. For instance, after a successful yield farming spree, you would want to get your farmed tokens out. However, the fee can be higher than the rewards. Unfortunately, MetaMask does not provide a way to define the gas fees on its default window manually.

But there’s another way! First, reject/cancel the transaction. Then (see image on left below) click on My Account (i.e. the little circle on the top right-hand side)-> Settings-> Advanced-> Advanced Gas Controls, and switch it on.

Then try the transaction again. Your Metamask will look like the image below on the right and as you can see you can set your gas fees!

Advanced gas controls

How to use Ethereum Gas Station

This works really well when used with Ethereum Gas Station (EGS). The station shows three options, i.e., trader, fast, and standard. This corresponds to how much gas fees you need to pay for each option, with trader being the fastest and most costly, and standard being the slowest but cheapest.

Depending on how fast you want your transaction to go through or your budget, go back to MetaMask and manually input the fees you’re comfortable with.

If you want to be even more precise with the gas fee estimate on the front page of EGS, you can use EGS’s transaction calculator. The calculator shows the different gas prices for fastest, fast, average, cheap, and other. Input the gas fee and check the transaction time and the fee in US dollars, among other additional information.

Transaction calculator
Transaction calculator

Cancel transactions on MetaMask

It is possible to cancel a transaction, but ONLY when it’s pending and waiting to be confirmed on the Ethereum network. To increase the cancellation window, choose the slowest speed, and pay fewer fees since this will take the transaction longer to be confirmed.

How to use your hardware wallet with MetaMask

To add a hardware wallet (Eg Ledger Nano X), first connect your wallet to your computer. Then login to your wallet and go to the Ethereum app on the wallet.

On MetaMask, click on the profile icon (i.e. the little circle on the top right-hand corner of your web browser), select “Connect Hardware Wallet”. Then, in the “Connect” tab, select the version of your hardware wallet e.g. Ledger Nano X and click “Unlock”.

So now you can use your hardware wallet as if it was another MetaMask wallet. However, for this feature, you must have your hardware wallet connected to your computer. Also, when confirming a transaction, you will need to do so on both your MetaMask and hardware wallet.

Save frequently used contacts on MetaMask

On MetaMask, select “Settings”, “Contacts” and “+”. Then you can input the username and address of your contact. The benefit of doing this is if you frequently send cryptocurrencies to the same address, you can select their contact and it saves you time. It’s also more secure since hackers cannot change the deposit wallet address when copied on the clipboard.

Speeding up stuck transactions

Sometimes, when you pay too little gas fees, the transaction may take longer to confirm and gets stuck. To speed up the transaction, click on “speed-up” below the transaction and choose between slow, average, or fast. Choose fast and click save. The previously slow transaction will be registered as a new transaction.

Video guides

Part 1 of my MetaMask video guide covers the following topics:

  • How to set up MetaMask;
  • Send and receive cryptocurrencies;
  • How to use MetaMask with MyEtherWallet; and
  • How to unlock MetaMask.
Part 1: MetaMask Video Guide

Part 2 of my video guide covers the following topics:

  • How to reduce transaction fees;
  • how to cancel incorrect transactions;
  • how to use your Ledger wallet with MetaMask;
  • how to save your frequently used contacts (addresses) to MetaMask; and
  • how to speed up stuck transactions.
Part 2: MetaMask Video Guide

FAQs

When should I use MetaMask or cryptocurrency hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X or Trezor?

It is recommended to use MetaMask for small, day to day transactions. For example I usually keep less than US$200 worth of ETH on MetaMask. This is because MetaMask does not have the secure features found in hardware wallets.

When I connect my Ledger wallet to MetaMask there is the Ledger Live or Legacy (MEW/MyCrypto) option. Which one do I choose?

The MEW/MyCrypto is the old version and Ledger Live is the newer version. I usually select MEW/MyCrypto because there are more features than the Ledger Live version.

I created a MetaMask account on my Chrome browser. But I also have ANOTHER account from a few years ago that I made on Firefox. How do I access my old account?

You can set up another browser on Chrome and restore your old MetaMask account. Chrome supports multiple instances.

The information provided in this article is intended for general guidance and information purposes only. Contents of this article are under no circumstances intended to be considered as investment, business, legal or tax advice. We do not accept any responsibility for individual decisions made based on this article and we strongly encourage you to do your own research before taking any action. Although best efforts are made to ensure that all information provided herein is accurate and up to date, omissions, errors, or mistakes may occur.

3 COMMENTS

  1. You mentioned that Ledge Nano X can be used with Metamask. If I want use Ledger Nano X with Metamask, what is situation with tokens that are not officially supported by Nano X? I can transfer some token from Metamask to Nano X, even this token is not supported by Nano X. When I write “not supported”, I dont mean that “certain token is not supported by Ledger Live, MyCrypto or MyEtherWallet (token list on https://www.ledger.com/supported-crypto-assets), I mean that certain token is not supported at all by Ledger Nano X (certain token is not on that list). For example, I can transfer DIA token from Metamask to Nano X. It will be visible on Metamask interface, but not on Ledger Live interface. So, is this token safely saved on Nano X or not? Can I see that token with MyCrypto or MEW interface? Or with Metamask interface only? What will happen after Nano X firmware update? What will happen if one day Nano X will support this token (will it be automatically visible with updated value on Ledger Live)? That details are missing in your explanation, so please could you elaborate? Thank you.

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